Summer is all about attending festivals and travelling to new places; and there’s nothing better than when you get to combine the two. As far as overseas festivals go, UNTOLD is Europe’s best kept secret.
Held from 1 – 4 August at Central Park, Cluj-Napoca in Transylvania, UNTOLD runs until the early hours. From sunrise to sunset, ravers from all around the world are brought together for four days of pure hedonism.
UNTOLD is best experienced when you let go of genres and throw yourself into the party and enjoy the atmosphere. Standing in a crowd of 30,000 people strong, the magic behind UNTOLD is that you feel like you are part of the show. The stadium’s 360 immersive experience is guided by high quality sound, a massive fireworks display, and elegant dancers who fly above the crowd.
Bastille’s relatable pop lyrics boom out of the speakers and echo around the arena. Unlike at some UK festivals, the sound is loud enough for you to feel the music. Tove Lo’s glittering scandi-pop goes down well on Thursday evening as fans are treated to the singer’s first live performance of new single ‘Bad As The Boys’.
Other highlights on the UNTOLD Main Stage across the weekend include a hit-filled headline performance from world-class entertainer Robbie Williams; an exclusive seven-hour euphoric live set from iconic DJ Armin Van Buuren; and a high-energy set from British rapper Stormzy, who continues to place grime firmly on the mainstream map.
UNTOLD has a reputation for its EDM, but there’s more to love about this festival. Outside of the Main Stage is a hedonistic world filled with twists and turns leading to fairground rides, boutique stages, luscious forest, and every cuisine you can think of.
The award-winning Galaxy Stage unveils the underground sides of techno, house and tech-house music, well curated by UNTOLD Galaxy’s soulful community. One of the main highlights this year included the moment Paul Kalkbrenner closed his set with ‘Feed Your Head’, before welcoming Tale Of Us onto the stage. Sunday evening on the Galaxy Stage also saw a crucial b2b set from Jamie Jones, Seth Troxler and The Martinez Brothers.
The Daydreaming Stage explores the more spiritual, multicultural and ethnically inspired electronic music. It’s more than a stage. It’s a gathering of people who share the same passion and enthusiasm for music. The vibe here is full of love. Highlights across the weekend included sets from Black Coffee and Guy Gerber – two experimental DJs who have always favoured the road less traveled.
Deep within the forest is the Nostalgia Stage. Be warned: you will lose yourself for hours here, dancing underneath the disco ball, swigging Romanian wine from the bottle, and busting outrageous dance moves to hits as timeless as Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic’. Slut drop central. There is no shame at UNTOLD; and certainly no rules when it comes to genre. Anything goes and everyone is accepted.
Romania as a country is just as welcoming. There’s a beautiful duality whereby you can travel between areas with Western influence, to remote villages where people are still living off the land and the main mode of transport is by horse and carriage.
UNTOLD is a world-class music festival combining major production with an artistic edge, and we can’t wait to see what the next chapter brings. Te Iubim, Romania!
Words by Hayley Thompson / @hayleyyt_